Speaking up for the voiceless has always been ingrained in the DNA of the vociferous anti-corruption campaigner, Martin Amidu.
The influence of his parents, both illiterate, sowed the seeds that currently see him at odds with elements within the National Democratic Congress (NDC), of which he is a founding member.
[contextly_sidebar id=”eVMKhUQJrc040D95hDC5aobs5gB4OoiR”]Reflecting on his life on the Citi Breakfast Show as he turns 66, Mr. Amidu noted how the circumstances of his parents and their sacrifices set him on his current path.
“I have since secondary school dedicated my life for always speaking for the voiceless… that is because of the background of my parents and how they suffered to see me and my elder brother through school.”
This zeal, that has seen him earn the name citizen vigilante, started from his secondary education at the Commercial Business Institute in Tamale, where he was part of a socialist group.
He recalled that “he has always spoken for the voiceless,” and his eventual transition into governance was still with the common man in mind.
“I didn’t come into government as a politician. When I finished law school, my advocacy was for the ordinary person who hadn’t been to school and who I felt was being cheated… so right from day one, I have been a sort of vigilante.”
“My family, my children… they have suffered because I took to trying to help the country than my family so their education and others suffered. My mind was focused on the nation and paying back my parents foresight,” he added.
Joining the revolution
Months after the Provisional National Defence Council’s (PNDC) December 31, 1981, revolution, Mr. Amidu joined Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings’ side, and he noted that it was a contrarian disposition that compelled the former President to spearhead the 31st December revolution.
“It [the revolution] was a call to help our fellow human beings in the country which we felt were being taken for granted,” he stated.
Mr. Amidu followed in this contrarian stance to government, noting that,”I didn’t come to do politics. I came for the revolution because I believed in an ideal which I had been brought up in. Politics was a secondary matter when we were moving from the revolutionary stage into democratic rule.”
“I am consistent as a contrarian because I remain still on the side of President Rawlings because that is our character, that is our being, and you can’t let me leave what brought me into politics to do the bidding of others, particularly when it is against the constitution I helped to draft, when it’s against the principles that brought me into politics and deprived my family of any benefit, and when it is against the interest of the nation.”
It is this contrarian position that has seen Mr. Amidu and Jerry Rawlings consistently criticize the current incarnation of the NDC for straying from the party’s original values. He expressed hope that his uncompromising stance on the party will eventually correct the ills within.
“I think that as time goes on, people will begin to appreciate that we are not just criticizing for criticizing sake. I want us to come together, chart the proper course, go back to our fundamental values and then get the people to support us to go back and see if we can complete the agenda we started,” he stated.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana